Mississippi River State Park. Courtesy of the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism
Arkansas earns its nickname as The natural State, offering outdoor adventures from hunting and fishing to hiking, canoeing, camping and exploring natural caves. Our region enjoys a temperate climate, with long summer and short winters, and no shortage of things to do. Throughout the year, we enjoy an eclectic line-up of festivals and events.
■ 9 state parks, including Village Creek State Park, which was named 2013 State Park of the year. As the state’s largest park, Village Creek has room for 96 campsites, seven miles of hiking trails, two fishing lakes and more than 25 miles of horseback riding trails.
The Ridges at Village Creek
■ Village creek also contains The Ridges at Village Creek, a world-class Andy Dye Signature Golf Course with 27 holes of challenging golf and scenic vistas, which has become a destination course for golfers in the Mid-South.
■ The Great River Road (Arkansas) National Scenic Byway traverses part of the nation’s largest alluvial plain, allowing travelers to experience both the mighty river and its legacy of shaping landscapes and lives along its path. The byway leads to unique cultural landmarks such as Hampson Archaeological Museum and the Parkin State Park.
A Quapaw canoe trip on the Mississippi River near Helena
■ Crowley’s Ridge Parkway National Scenic Byway is characterized by upland hardwood forests, farmland, orchards and a variety of recreational and historical resources. Four state parks lie along the parkway, which passes through the St. Francis National Forest and makes for one of the most scenic motorcycle rides in the state. Arkansas’s portion of the Crowley’s Ridge Parkway became one of America’s national scenic byways in 1998.
■ 30 minutes from FedExForum, the home of the Memphis Grizzlies, and the world-famous Beale Street, recently named the Most Iconic American Street by USA Today.
Southland Park Racing and Gaming in West Memphis
■ Southland Park Gaming & Racing has been a major racing venue in West Memphis for nearly 60 years and currently features 1,200 electronic gaming machines, including video poker, roulette, craps and blackjack. It also features the Bourbon Street Steakhouse and Grill, World Market Buffet, Juke Joint bar with live entertainment, Event Center and Shine Blounge.